Lack of help-seeking behavior among homeless veterans results in higher burden of disease and lower quality of life. No studies have been conducted involving help- seeking intentions of homeless veterans within the veteran stand down population. Pender’s Revised Health Promotion Model was used to guide this descriptive correlational study with the aim of exploring the extent selected personal characteristics and experiences and behavior-specific factors affect help-seeking intentions among homeless veterans attending a stand down event.

A convenience sample of 86 homeless veterans (mean age 56) was recruited from a 3-day veteran stand down event in Northern California. Each participant was screened for head injury utilizing the Ohio State University Traumatic Brain Injury Identification Method (OSU TBI-ID). Participants also completed a battery of questionnaires, including a socio-demographic information sheet, Medical Outcomes Study: Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS), General Self-efficacy Scale (GSE), and Generalized Help Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ).

The majority of the study participants were African American. The majority of participants also had a history of involvement with the justice system and a prior head injury. The findings showed that perceived social support and perceived self-efficacy were significant predictors for intention to seek help. The variables of race/ethnicity, history of involvement with the justice system, history of head injury, perceived self-efficacy and perceived social support accounted for 31% of the variance.

Based on the findings, expansion of peer mentor support, individualized case management, and expansion of homeless patient aligned care teams is recommended, as well as increased support for community outreach events such veteran stand downs. Future research should focus on expanding the present study to other homeless veteran settings and also include a study to evaluate actual long-term outcomes following homeless veteran participation in community outreach events.

Date of publication

Spring 5-21-2019

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Shih Yu Lee, PhD, RN; Beth Mastel-Smith, PhD, RN; Shalonda Horton, PhD, RN


Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing